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, 402 (4), 520-37

Mushroom Bodies of the Cockroach: Their Participation in Place Memory

  • PMID: 9862324

Mushroom Bodies of the Cockroach: Their Participation in Place Memory

M Mizunami et al. J Comp Neurol.


Insects and other arthropods use visual landmarks to remember the location of their nest, or its equivalent. However, so far, only olfactory learning and memory have been claimed to be mediated by any particular brain region, notably the mushroom bodies. Here we describe the results of experiments that demonstrate that the mushroom bodies of the cockroach (Periplaneta americana), already shown to be involved in multimodal sensory processing, play a crucial role in place memory. Behavioral tests, based on paradigms similar to those originally used to demonstrate place memory in rats, demonstrate a rapid improvement in the ability of individual cockroaches to locate a hidden target when its position is provided by distant visual cues. Bilateral lesions of selected areas of the mushroom bodies abolish this ability but leave unimpaired the ability to locate a visible target. The present results demonstrate that the integrity of the pedunculus and medial lobe of a single mushroom body is required for place memory. The results are comparable to the results obtained from hippocampal lesions in rats and are relevant to recent studies on the effects of ablations of Drosophila mushroom bodies on locomotion.

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